Masks are again being recommended in England’s secondary schools, days before they become compulsory again in shops and on public transport.

A third case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected in the UK.

Today, new advice from the Department for Education says staff, pupils and visitors in Year 7 and above are "strongly advised" to cover their faces in communal areas outside classrooms.

It says: "From tomorrow (Monday November 29), we are strongly advising that face coverings should be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff, visitors and students in year 7 and above, unless they are exempt.

"Pupils should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt."

Students are also asked to continue to test themsevles twice a week, using lateral flow tests.

Isle of Wight secondary schools have yet to comment on the advice. which was issued late this afternoon on the Department for Education's blog.

The advice covers all education establishments including universities, as well as other childcare settings, such as early years care, however it applies to children in Year Seven and above.

It does not mean masks should be worn in classrooms, but it is advised they are worn in communal areas like corridors.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “The news of a new variant – the so-called Omicron variant – will have understandably caused concern for people across our country, including our teachers, wider education and childcare staff, parents, pupils and students.

“We are already taking targeted and proportionate action as a precaution while we find out more information about the new variant.

From Tuesday, face coverings will be compulsory on public transport and in shops and other settings including banks, post offices and hairdressers.

Isolation rules will also return for international arrivals, until passengers receive a negative PCR test for Covid-19.

Earlier, Isle of Wight cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic topped 18,000, when the daily updated added a further 123 new cases.

Read more: Covid update sees more than 120 new Isle of Wight cases

Hospitality settings are exempt from the new facemasks rule.